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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Five More Aussie Sailors Make Olympic Debut in Rio - Day 3

Will Ryan, Jaime Ryan, Carrie Smith, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin joined an exclusive group overnight making their Olympic debut on the waters of Guanabara Bay. With seven different courses on the bay, Australia’s sailors experienced a diverse range of conditions, making it a challenging day for all.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Mat Belcher & Will Ryan (470M)
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
It was a solid start for Mat Belcher & Will Ryan on their first day of racing. Both 470 men and women were racing on Escola Naval course today in very shifty, difficult conditions. Mat & Will were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time early in the first race, falling into a patch of much lighter wind. They managed to climb back through the fleet, finishing eighth. In the second race Mat & Will sailed their way through the fleet from 13th at the first mark, hit the lead at the final windward mark, holding their position to take their first win of the competition.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“Today was probably some of the most difficult conditions I’ve experienced here, if not in my career. The games are meant to be difficult and challenging and we saw that today. Will and I were really happy. We were back in a lot of cases and fought our way back to post two good results," Belcher said.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“Coming back and getting that win in the second race was important for our confidence. We’re really well prepared coming into this event. We’re in good shape mentally, good shape physically and the boat is going well. It’s nice to tick away – we’ve had our first win of the regatta,” he added.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Carrie Smith & Jaime Ryan (470W)
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Making their Olympic debut, Carrie Smith and Jaime Ryan were clearly excited to finally be out racing, with smiles on their faces. The conditions were quite challenging and got the better of the girls in race one, where they scored a 17th place. In the second race of the day, Carrie and Jaime were within striking distance for most of the race sitting in fifth place, but slipped back to eighth at the finish.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“For us it was a very tricky day, in terms of the wind, we had lots of rain and a cloud-driven sort of day, so it made it really challenging out there. We had to fight for every metre, every second. The first race was not what we hoped to come out with, but we learnt from those mistakes and proved in the second one that we can pull it together,” Carrie said at the conclusion of racing.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“We feel that we’ve got the bad race out of the way and we’ve seen what it’s like be out there and race in the Olympic fleet, having a better understanding of that now, getting the nerves out of the way on the first day. I think it’s definitely onwards and upwards from here,” she added.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“It’s funny, I think we’ve tried really hard to make this just the same as any other regatta, not to build it up to put too much pressure on ourselves. But at the same time obviously it’s what we’ve been dreaming of for so long and what we’ve worked so hard for, it’s a pretty cool feeling that it’s all beginning now,” Jaime Ryan said.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Jason Waterhouse & Lisa Darmanin (Nacra17)
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
For the Nacra 17 class, who were sailing close to Flamengo Beach under Sugarloaf Mountain, the gusty and shifty conditions for the first race dropped away, meaning they were only able to complete two of today’s three scheduled races. The Aussies are currently lying fourth overall after crossing the line in sixth and eighth in today’s two races. Competing at their first Olympic Games, the pair were challenged by today’s conditions.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“It’s not over til it’s over, you just never know what’s going to happen here. We’ve spent five months in Rio and we’ve never seen these conditions. So, what a way to start the Olympic Games. It was insane, it was a lot of fun and a bit stressful at times,” Darmanin said after coming off the water.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Speaking of the Australian supporters, Lisa said, “I couldn’t identify who was on-shore but I could definitely hear them and it was great to have some Aussies cheering us on and a lot of love and support behind us, so it’s great that they’re here. We know everyone is watching at home as well, so hope it was enjoyable and not too stressful for them.”
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
On sharing the Olympic journey with cousin Jason, she added, “To do it with Jase, my cousin, my best friend, it’s just incredible and I wouldn’t want to be here with anyone else. On a day like today, where it’s just insane, we’re just on this next level together, which is what you need. It’s fantastic,” she added.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Jason also spoke of the family connection, saying, “I see it as an advantage, it’s great to compete with my cousin, or my family. We love each other a lot, we’re just looking forward to going out there and having a really good time and also hopefully producing some results.”
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Tom Burton (Laser)
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
It was the third day of racing for the Laser fleet and race five began after waiting for 15 minutes under postponement. Tom Burton started the day off with a ninth place finish out on Copacabana, where the wind and waves were wild.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
In the second race of the day Tom finished 17th over the finish line, but three boats ahead of him were disqualified for starting early. Tomorrow is a reserve day for the Laser class, giving Tom a day off from racing.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Ashley Stoddart (Laser Radial)
Photo: Getty Images
Sharing a course with the Laser men’s fleet, the Laser Radial women also battled the wind and waves on Copacabana course today. Ashley Stoddart sailed a very consistent day, scoring two 11th places, putting her into 11th overall. The Laser Radial fleet won’t be racing tomorrow, as this was a scheduled reserve day.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“It was 20 plus knots out there today with massive waves. People were getting knocked out of their boats on the reaches because the waves were so big. There were people in the top 10 capsizing on the reach because of the waves,” Stoddart said after returning to shore.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“There are definitely a few moments where you think, ‘I’ve got to keep this going because this is what I’ve been working towards for so long.’ It’s important to dismiss those thoughts and focus your energy on those things that are going to make the boat go faster. I did all right today. I went out and focused on making the boat go faster. Downwind it was a matter of keeping the bow out of the waves,” she added.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Jake Lilley (Finn)
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
In the Finn class, Jake Lilley is currently lying 15th overall after crossing the line in eighth and sixth today. It was a good performance for Lilley today, and he will be looking forward to completing another two races tomorrow.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“My objective was just to survive. It was windy at times which is something I feel comfortable in but today I didn’t really have my usual go, but pulled out two keepers, so that was ok. I’m just building, it’s a really long week, and we’re not even a third of the way through yet," Lilley said.

Australian Sailing Team Media

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